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Bonita Springs offers to buy homes in flood zones

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 23:16:32-04

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Helen Parish said she’s considering Bonita Springs’ offer to buy homes along Quinn Street and Downs Drive, areas hit by as much as five feet of floodwater after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

She said she never wants to experience that again.

“We were homeless for nine months and we had to move 19 times,” she said.

Mayor Peter Simmons went door-to-door Tuesday telling homeowners about Florida’s $75 million grant for neighborhoods most impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“It’s absolutely 100% voluntary. So, people can choose to get fair market value for their home if that makes sense for them and their family or not. It’s up to them,” he said

But Caroline Carlton said she’s skeptical.

“$75 million sounds like a lot, but we’re not the only community that’s applying for it,” she said.

Virginia Guffey has lived on Quinn Street and Chapman Avenue for six years and said she hopes the city will pay owners the value of homes.

“I’m just hoping if they do, that they offer fair prices. Not try to take advantage of the people that’s already been through so much,” she said.

Carlton said she wonders what will happen to those who decide to stay.

“What are they going to do? They can’t just destroy a couple of houses and say okay, the drainage problem is fixed,” she said.

The city has not revealed plans for the land that will be purchased. Simmons said land needs to be evaluated before they decide what to do with it.

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